Let’s talk about sex.
APRIL 12, 2021
Let’s talk about sex on this edition of Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew executive producer of the program. Our host is Steve Brown. He’s an author and seminary professor, who teaches that God’s amazing grace is the key to a life of radical freedom, infectious joy, and surprising faithfulness to Christ.
Thank you Matthew. I bet that woke you up, that teaser, you know, you in the church, we don’t talk much about sexual things, but the Bible does a lot. And so we’re going to spend some time this week, as we look at the flesh things that Paul is talking about in Galatians, and some of them are sexual. So we’re going to bring those up. By the way, I hope you had a great week-end and I hope your pastor was as good as my pastor’s sermon, his sermon. And, I hope you had a good week-end of relaxation. I did. We’re in the middle, no, we’re toward the end of a study of the book of Galatians, and I’m not sure where we’re going to go, when we finish this book. We’ve studied it for a very long time and I love this book. It may be my favorite along with Romans of all the New Testament books, because it is a wonderful book about freedom. And I’ve told you, if you want to read it really, really good Google looters. Not looters. Luther’s introduction to the book of Galatians. It’ll blow you away and it’ll give you an idea of what the reformation was all about. If you have your Bible turn, if you will, to the fifth chapter of Galatians, let me read it, then we’ll pray. Then we’ll study.
For you were called to freedom,
brothers. Not only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another. But I say to you, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of a flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you’re led by the Spirit, you’re not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plain: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.
Alright, let’s pray. And then we’ll study. Father, as we come into your presence. And when you give us lists in your book, we wince, because we find ourselves in both lists and we wonder sometimes. If you’ll ever say to us, I’ve had it with you. We’re so glad that you promise never to do that, that you have loved us unconditionally, that that love will never change. It began in eternity past and will continue into eternity future. Father, we’re so thankful for your love. For the manifestation of that love in the Cross. But if you’d never come, if you had never been kind and compassionate to us, you’re still God. And you’re worthy of our worship. Father, you know the people who are listening right now, and you know the hard places. You told us to bring our requests to you. And so we bring the pain and the hurt and the darkness and the loss, and we place it on the alter, as a child would come to a father with a broken toy. You’re the God of the sadness and the dark, but you’re the God of the laughter too. So replace our lament with laughter. And then Father as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast. That you would forgive him his sins, because there are many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen, Paul, and if you were listening, as I read that text to you is offering us a major contrast, between the Spirit and the flesh. Now, when he talks about flesh, he’s not talking about the Gnostic heresy of the past, that said that all flesh was evil. That’s not what he’s talking about. He’s talking about the works of the flesh and he names them in this text. And then he talks about the fruit of the Spirit and he names that fruit. Now, this is what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna spend some time and I don’t want to talk about it much, frankly. We’re going to spend some time looking at the works of the flesh, and then we’re going to do talk some about freedom as we continue with that theme, that is central in Galatians. And then we’re going to go to the good side and talk about the fruit of the Spirit. First let’s look at the works of the flesh. Note first there is sexual sin, fornication, impurity, licentiousness, that’s disregarding the standards. Someone is saying, come on Brown. Let’s don’t talk about that. You sound like an old style fundamentalist. No, I don’t. I sound like Jesus. Sometimes in the church, we don’t address sexual matters and there’s some clear direction in the Scripture on those matters. And it is there, because there’s so much danger in that area. I had a student who went, I may have told you this, who went to an elderly pastor friend of his, he was almost 90. And he asked him, he said, when do you don’t have to struggle with lust? When does it get better? And the old pastor said, son, when you’re dead. And you’ve been buried at least three days. This is a major kind of thing. I one time heard Billy Graham interviewed on a talk show in the subject of sex came up. And the interviewer said, sex Mr. Graham is just an appetite, like hunger. And it needs to be satisfied. Mr. Graham said, that’s not true. Have you ever seen someone dress a ham or a steak in a skimpy bathing suit and caused passion by revealing a little bit here and a little bit there? And I thought, that is so wise. And no, it’s not the same. I have a friend, his name is Harold Myra, and he wrote a wonderful book, on prayers, Is There a Place I Can Scream. And he has one on sex.
Thanks Lord, For Our Sexuality. For the whole marvelous idea of our male and femaleness, you’ve made something beautiful Lord, but I wonder why you make it so massive? Why make sex so powerful Lord? Like a 20 pound gland in a hundred pound body.
He’s right, you know. And the Scripture’s very clear of the parameters. Is that because God is a prude? No. Is it because God doesn’t want us to have any fun? Absolutely not. It’s because God cares, and he doesn’t want us to get hurt. I’ve been a pastor for longer than a lot of you have been alive. And I can’t tell you the broken hearts and the tragedy and the ashes that have come from ignoring what the Scripture says about sexual sin. And so, when Paul talks about the works of the flesh, the works of the flesh, he doesn’t avoid sexuality, because that’s important. In fact, he leads with it, adultery and fornication, stepping outside the bounds, reaching for fruit that you’re not supposed to eat, forbidden fruit, isn’t God’s way of taking away from you, the joy. That’s his way of giving you the joy. And so, Paul knows that. And so, when he lists the works of the flesh, he starts with sexual things and we need in the church to spend some time talking about it. Whenever I would, somebody would come out the back of the church and they would say, pastor, you went too far this morning. I want to, and I’ll often say, what do you mean? They’ll say, you know, S E X. And I blush, because the one place where we can be honest about these matters is in the church. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, teaching us from Galatians about the Spirit versus the flesh. And yes, sex. Our text was, and will be all this week, Galatians 5:13-26. So much more to discover here at the end of Galatians 5. Hope you’ll join us again tomorrow. Well, have you ever watched a movie and there’s that scene where the character turns and sees somebody near them and then they ask, how long have you been there? Well, right now you may be suffering through some tough scenes of your own. Someone you love is sick. Your child’s in trouble. You lost your job. Your spouse left you. And while Jesus did tell us this things would happen. He also promised that he would be with his people in their suffering. So when we turn to Jesus, we don’t have to ask how long he’s been there, because we already know. He’s been there the whole time. If you are suffering, we’d love to send you a mini-book, Steve wrote called When Life Falls Apart. Get your free copy now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for the mini-book. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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